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News Wrap: U.S. Staff Moved to Pakistan Capital After Threat to Lahore Consulate

August 9, 2013 at 12:00 AM EST
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KWAME HOLMAN: American government personnel left Lahore, Pakistan, today because of a specific threat to the consulate there. The U.S. shifted nonessential staff from Lahore to the capital, Islamabad. Embassy officials wouldn’t say when the consulate might reopen. The closing came amid a flurry of militant attacks, including one on a mosque in Quetta today that killed six people. Gunmen opened fire on worshipers as they were leaving.

Saudi Arabia arrested two suspected al-Qaida militants in connection with the recent closure of Western embassies in the region. They were from Yemen and Chad. The Saudi Arabian interior ministry said an investigation found the two were plotting suicide attacks. Computer hardware, electronic devices and mobile phones were seized along with the suspects.

Fire crews in Southern California today battled strong winds as they raced to gain ground on a fast-moving wildfire. More than 1,600 firefighters are working to put out the flames across the San Jacinto Mountains. The fire has grown to 25 square miles and is 25 percent contained. The blaze broke out Wednesday afternoon. Since then, it’s destroyed more than two dozen homes, and forced some 1,800 residents to flee.

President Obama signed a bipartisan compromise on student loans into law today, just in time for the fall semester. He made it official during a ceremony in the Oval Office. The deal will tie interest rates to the performance of the financial markets. Undergraduate students would see their borrowing rates fall back below four percent. But costs would rise over time as the economy improves.

The International Trade Commission in Washington found today that Samsung Electronics violated two Apple patents on mobile devices. Apple claimed Samsung slavishly copied its iPhone and iPad tablet computers. As part of the ruling, U.S. imports, sales and distribution of those Samsung products are prohibited. The import ban is subject to review by President Obama, who could overturn it on public policy grounds.

Stocks on Wall Street today finished the week in negative territory and closed out the worst week since June. The Dow Jones industrial average lost nearly 73 points to close at 15,425. The NASDAQ fell nine points to close at 3,660. For the week, the Dow lost a percent-and-a-half; the NASDAQ fell nearly 1 percent.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.